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The New York Times–bestselling author “picks up where Wharton and James left off, with [a] stylish, tasteful novel of manners” (Publishers Weekly).
Natica Chauncey, the daughter of a financier ruined by the Great Depression, is determined to regain the social status she has lost. She relies on a kindly matron for her glancing acquaintance with the aristocracy of Long Island—but she is haunted by a yearning for more.
Coming of age at a time when anything more than a modest show of ambition does not become a lady, she must seek her own fortune in the fortunes of others. And so, with little more than her wits and determination, she makes her way through the social shoals of New England prep schools, Hudson Valley estates, and New York drawing rooms. Natica has a gift for finding opportunity in improbable situations, even at the risk of scandal—and almost in spite of herself, she will emerge as an unlikely, and unforgettable, femme fatale.